The other day someone broke into my private space. I’d just received some minor bad news, and was wallowing in misery over all the horrors that could possibly ensue, when a voice I didn’t recognize piped up almost apologetically: “Don’t you think this is kind of pointless?” 

“Who are you?” I demanded. 

“Oh, nobody, sorry to bother you – we just thought you might not have noticed…”

And they scuttled out the door before I could grab them and make them explain. But I knew what they were implying, even though they were too polite, or chicken, to say so directly: that I was wasting my energy, that all my worrying wasn’t going to change anything.

They didn’t fool me. I know very well that the only way to prevent the worst is to imagine and suffer over all possible horrors ahead of time – or, as my dear Jorge used to put it, to “suffer twice.” Everybody knows this. 

So I went back to my worrying, breathing a sigh of relief, thinking I was rid of them – but somehow they won’t leave me alone. They keep sneaking up on me, poking me in the ribs, “Hey dude, no worries! Just check out what’s happening!” Obviously they’re trying to sound cool, but I know who they are. They’re just some old hippie who can’t give up on that old saw, “Be here now.” 

Lucky I know what’s what. If people actually stopped worrying, we’d all be deluded into thinking everything was ok! Then the pharmaceutical companies would go out of business…

They can’t fool me…
Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards, a poetic and musical member of the Universal Human Nation, is the author of On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo; Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer; Confessions of Olivia, a fictional autobiography; and Fish Scribbles. She has also co-authored two books: Experiences on the Threshold and Ambrosia - Poetic Recipes/Recetas poeticas. Exactly two of her poems have been published by anyone other than her less-than-modest self: “The Great 21st Century Poemic" appeared in the April 2021 edition of Global Poemic (; and "Fairies of the Forest" appeared in the Palo Alto Times "Youth Said It" column in 1957. In the '90s she also wrote for, edited and published an independent San Francisco newspaper, Human Future; and in the '70s she co-founded the San Francisco arts publication La Mamelle, which morphed into Art Com before it died, and whose remnants are now housed in the Stanford Archives. A graduate of Stanford University, she helped raise several humans from infancy, and is now enjoying their friendship. Currently she tends to wander between Oregon and California, enjoying the company of her beloved community of friends and family. She can more or less reliably be found at the west coast Park of Study and Reflection, outside Red Bluff in Northern California, on the third Saturday of every month.